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Don
Posted: April 24th, 2011, 11:53am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Something Is Out There by Darren J Seeley (DarrenJamesSeeley) - Short, Horror - Three people are trapped inside a chapel as a terrible creature hides somewhere out in the cemetery outside. 15 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  July 17th, 2018, 4:26pm
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leitskev
Posted: April 24th, 2011, 12:37pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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That was a trip, Darren. After page 4, seemed like a lot happened for a short. Certainly an action filled adventure.

In my reviews I tend to focus on story and leave others to address writing. I want to note though that it seems maybe you sent this without a lot of proof reading. There were some areas where a word was accidentally left out. Grammatical versions of typos, but they were indicative of rushing this out, and this was reflected in a lot of areas where the writing needs cleaning up. I know as a writer you are more than up to the task of fixing, and there's just too many to really take notes on, so I trust you will know how to fix them.

The story has a lot of good things. A great setting, some powerful images, a really cool creature. I'm confident this little world you've created will take better form with rewrites. You have a great imagination, which serves you well for horror. There are some questions that arose.

I had assumed this creature was somehow conjured by the kids with the Ouija board. Then there was a pit with cult members in it. So I'm not sure what was going on, and there seems to be a lot of weird things going on for one little cemetery. Maybe you can expand on that in rewrites, or explain. And why were the cult people happy to see Catherine?

The killing of the creature has to change. You have this powerful creature swooping in, snapping heads off, toppling grave stones, flipping cars...that was great. Then it dies accidentally falling on a shovel held by Catherine? Come on! That creature's way too bad ass for that! So work on a different way to kill it Darren.
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DarrenJamesSeeley
Posted: April 24th, 2011, 1:34pm Report to Moderator
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In a previous draft (which was on another site) the monster was conjured up by the cult and the beast turned on them after they bound up Catherine. Catherine was protected by the rosary (which is still slightly hinted at here), and also the opening scene (minus some dialog) was in a series of quick flashblacks Brian and Catherine told to Miller. I moved the flashback up front so they are no longer flashbacks, and gave a little time to Brian and Catherine.

It wasn't rushed. Later tonight I'll look to see where these errors are, but I thought I had taken care of them. I could have missed something. A big misconception about me is that I crank these jokers out as if someone put a gun to my head and said 'write or die'.

More to follow later...

Thanks for the read.


"I know you want to work for Mo Fuzz. And Mo Fuzz wants you to. But first, I'm going to need to you do something for me... on spec." - Mo Fuzz, Tapeheads, 1988
my scripts on ss : http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?m-1095531482/s-45/#num48
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jwent6688
Posted: April 24th, 2011, 3:08pm Report to Moderator
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I would switch a character name here. Catherine and Kate can only confuse the reader a bit.

pg. 2
BRIAN
What are going to do to you? Ground
you? - this dialogue needs fixed.

I also think you should use (O.S.) instead of a wrylie (off) for off screen dialogue.

This is very talky to start. i don't like Brian saying "What the hell!" twice consequetively.

There's a ton of typos here Darren. So many, I've stopped pointing them out.

The initial exchange of dialogue between Brian, Catherine, and Miller seemed very odd to me. Brian asks about the car twice. This guy likes to repeat himself.

I don't get why Brian and Catherine left the safety of the chapel.

Would've like to known more about this monster. I think the dialogue should start out talking about the legend of it. Then maybe they all move into the chapel to have their orgy. Strange noises outside. Build tension. As it sits, I really didn't get any tension from it. I think it needs it.

Yeah, it seems like a pretty cool monster. I just again, would like to know more about it. Hope this helps some...

Thanks for jumping in the challenge with me. It was good fun...

James


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leitskev
Posted: April 24th, 2011, 6:37pm Report to Moderator
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Darren I gave this some thought. Maybe you don't need the people in the pit. You have the kids with the ouija board. They conjured this thing somehow. Especially since this is a short. Instead of the pit people, come up with a more prolonged way to kill the creature. Just an idea man.
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DarrenJamesSeeley
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I'm back from Easter dinner. Beans tasted real good. Now...time for the other beans...

I looked over the script again, and aside from the line quoted above ("What are {they} going to do to you" as James pointed out) I'm having a dickens of a time seeing where the spelling errors are. My best guess is some words that might call for hyphenation, but other than that, I'm rather stumped. Could be the rule of thumb where if one or two errors are present, chances are there's more. Might be the holiday and I'm all beaned out and sugared up and can't see straight. Could have been the wine too.

As for the cult in the pit, since in the previous draft I cut and jigsawed them back in somehow, as it goes with some scripts progression, these folks might go bye-bye. I might even drop the ouija board at that.

But I'm going to draw a line in the sand here. While the monster has some inspiration from a combination of sources and is spurned into a creature unique, I think it would be a mistake - a huge mistake to have the kids (or even Miller, for that matter) to have some knowledge of what the creature is. I've seen too many (dull) films that do that. I seen one too many films where the kids are aware of the superstitions, urban legends and ghost tales- spit in the face/tempt such fates and then, like clockwork, believe it when they get picked off. I personally HATE that self awareness and stupidity. I despise it. Period.

If anything, I'd much rather keep the creature's origins unknown and they learn about it (or how to defend against it). Should there be a more grand way to kill the monster? I will weigh that in down the road.

However, a good point was made about being in the chapel a bit longer. I'll consider it.

Catherine/Kate...hmmm...I'm on the fence with that. I'll probably change Kate to Katy or something. But I'm skeptical on the confusion there James.



"I know you want to work for Mo Fuzz. And Mo Fuzz wants you to. But first, I'm going to need to you do something for me... on spec." - Mo Fuzz, Tapeheads, 1988
my scripts on ss : http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?m-1095531482/s-45/#num48
The Art!http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-knowyou/m-1190561532/s-105/#num106
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jwent6688
Posted: April 24th, 2011, 8:55pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from DarrenJamesSeeley
Catherine/Kate...hmmm...I'm on the fence with that. I'll probably change Kate to Katy or something. But I'm skeptical on the confusion there James.


Its just simple psychology. Try not to use the same starting consanants in characters names when it can be avoided. I've actually read this in screenwriting books and have found myself to agree with it.

Katy, Katherine... Alot of peeps read screenplays at lightning speed IMO.  This is just a simple thing that could help your read. It neither makes, nor breaks, anything in your story.

James



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bert
Posted: April 24th, 2011, 9:03pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from DarrenJamesSeeley
Catherine/Kate...hmmm...I'm on the fence with that. I'll probably change Kate to Katy or something. But I'm skeptical on the confusion there James.


Hey, Darren -- just chiming in here in support of what James is saying.

This is something you will never recognize in your own work -- you need to hear it from a reader -- but it is a true fact that this happens with similar names.  It drives a reader crazy.

Maybe you have never encountered it while reading somebody else's work, but someday you will, and then you will be a believer.  Tons of writers around here will back me up on this, even if they do not comment here, specifically.

It is such an easy fix.  Fix it.


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LC
Posted: April 24th, 2011, 9:43pm Report to Moderator
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...and backing up. Kate's just short for Catherine/Katherine, and she's going down the aisle soon You've got two characters with the same name?

Is just rude if I make a comment like this and don't review, so I'll be back.


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DarrenJamesSeeley
Posted: April 25th, 2011, 12:22am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from bert


Hey, Darren -- just chiming in here in support of what James is saying.

This is something you will never recognize in your own work -- you need to hear it from a reader -- but it is a true fact that this happens with similar names.  It drives a reader crazy.

Maybe you have never encountered it while reading somebody else's work, but someday you will, and then you will be a believer.  Tons of writers around here will back me up on this, even if they do not comment here, specifically.

It is such an easy fix.  Fix it.



I have, Bert. I just was slightly skeptical on Kate and Catherine. Nothing more.



"I know you want to work for Mo Fuzz. And Mo Fuzz wants you to. But first, I'm going to need to you do something for me... on spec." - Mo Fuzz, Tapeheads, 1988
my scripts on ss : http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?m-1095531482/s-45/#num48
The Art!http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-knowyou/m-1190561532/s-105/#num106
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DarrenJamesSeeley
Posted: April 25th, 2011, 12:25am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from LC
...and backing up. Kate's just short for Catherine/Katherine, and she's going down the aisle soon You've got two characters with the same name?

Is just rude if I make a comment like this and don't review, so I'll be back.


No, it isn't rude. I'm rather used to it by now.

Okay. the point is made. I'll do an alteration. No problemo.


"I know you want to work for Mo Fuzz. And Mo Fuzz wants you to. But first, I'm going to need to you do something for me... on spec." - Mo Fuzz, Tapeheads, 1988
my scripts on ss : http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?m-1095531482/s-45/#num48
The Art!http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-knowyou/m-1190561532/s-105/#num106
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: April 25th, 2011, 11:45am Report to Moderator
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Hey Darren,

Gave this one a read, first one you've posted in a while.
I like your creature, it's a cool beasty.
Despite being very reminiscent of a 2005 Doctor Who episode.
Wedding guests are trapped in a chapel by a demonic bat creatures in that story.
In that story, I understood the character motivation and dynamics.

I think I'd like this story much better if I cared about any of the kids.
The quartet comes off like selfish goth twats on the page.
If that's what you intended, ok, but it didn't help me get into your script.

Your actions scenes play out decent, but I didn't get why they left the chapel.
The beasty is desecrating a grave so they decide to run into the night?

I'm also unclear as to why Miller is there, maybe I missed something.
Is he a caretaker? Why does he show up when he does?
If he was connected to the cult, that might give him some motivation.
I second the repetitive dialogue and the name similarity.
There's a "Yeah, I think you're right" on page 4 that reads left field too.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't connect with the characters here much.
It seems the only character motivation here is to survive.
There's no character conflict to compliment the device of your beast.
Your play out the scenario with some decent action beats.
Now, I want a story and character arc to go along with it.

Keep writing and rewriting.

Regards,
E.D.


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Dressel
Posted: April 25th, 2011, 12:14pm Report to Moderator
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Darren,

Sorry to say, this one didn't really do much for me.  I felt like I was thrown head-first into a story already in progress, and didn't really have much incentive to care about the characters or the situation they were in.

I agree with others before who said that the beginning is too talky.  It's too talky and it doesn't really establish the characters that well.  It basically just sets the scene of four teens ripe for killing; a standard in horror movies.  

Also, you introduce them as TEENS, but that's pretty vague as it can go from 13-19.  I'm also not the biggest fan of how you introduce them all at once with little to no description.  This is constantly argued on the boards (the introduction of many characters at once), and I'm usually in favor of what's less confusing to the reader.  Oh, and I should note: Kate and Catherine didn't confuse me, but if it did for others, it's worth changing.

I also agree with James: the monster does sound pretty cool, but that's not enough to carry a story. It's just all too generic for me right now, and you need to either spice it up with a better story or more defined characters.

-Matt


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DarrenJamesSeeley
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Quoted from Electric Dreamer
Hey Darren,

Gave this one a read, first one you've posted in a while.
I like your creature, it's a cool beasty.
Despite being very reminiscent of a 2005 Doctor Who episode.
Wedding guests are trapped in a chapel by a demonic bat creatures in that story.


While I do like the Doctor Who series, the short wasn't influenced by that ep. Now, if there was a time travel element (the creatures, if I recall, was a result of a time travel paradox) but I give props to any of the following:

Larry Cohen's Q The Winged Serpent;
Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky;
Don Coscerelli's Phantasm film series;
Stan Winston's Pumpkinhead...

and my own brain pattern. Still, any mention of Doctor Who is alright by me.



Quoted from Electric Dreamer


I'm also unclear as to why Miller is there, maybe I missed something.
Is he a caretaker? Why does he show up when he does?
If he was connected to the cult, that might give him some motivation.


There was an alarm tripped.
Interesting that you mention him being connected to the cult and being the bad guy. I had considered that when I first wrote it. In fact it was his pet that got "loose" and basically the monster kills vandals and/or traspassers after dark. Miller showed up when the alarm was tripped for the monster had a phobia regarding religious objects. So he had to get the survivors out of the chapel. He also didn't want to kill them himself, but let his pet do it.


But it didn't work for me. I felt I telegraphed it a bit much, and I'd much rather have a hinted discovery of where the beast came from. It also didn't work for others (on antoher site) so I changed it. Maybe it was okay- but since I wasn't crazy about it, I may have treated it a bit more different.

The rest of your points are noted ED.


As for not posting in awhile...I been down that highway before. The only thing that prompted this submission was the recent thread about a lack of creature features.


"I know you want to work for Mo Fuzz. And Mo Fuzz wants you to. But first, I'm going to need to you do something for me... on spec." - Mo Fuzz, Tapeheads, 1988
my scripts on ss : http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?m-1095531482/s-45/#num48
The Art!http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-knowyou/m-1190561532/s-105/#num106
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DarrenJamesSeeley
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Quoted from Dressel
Also, you introduce them as TEENS, but that's pretty vague as it can go from 13-19.  
-Matt


An excellent point. I'll put up a revision here shortly, and that observation will be corrected. Thanks a bunch Matt.


"I know you want to work for Mo Fuzz. And Mo Fuzz wants you to. But first, I'm going to need to you do something for me... on spec." - Mo Fuzz, Tapeheads, 1988
my scripts on ss : http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?m-1095531482/s-45/#num48
The Art!http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-knowyou/m-1190561532/s-105/#num106
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